A couple of weeks ago I spent a few minutes looking out at the sea from Yuigahama Beach in Kamakura city just south of Tokyo. The beach faces south so you are always going to see the sun over the ocean from this point, I always wonder what Kamakura would like like from a boat in the ocean? Someday I need to find myself a spot on one of those boats I sometimes see on the horizon here. It’s an unseasonably cold early April afternoon but already some windsurfers and surfers are out there.
Japan is pretty wild country when it comes to geology, and any visit to the cost is bound to show you any number of geological features you’d only find in textbooks in other countries. Here’s a few snapshots of the wild coastline to the south of Hyuga city in Miyazaki prefecture, taken last summer. It might not look to bad, but the rock is very sharp and it was an ordeal to get from the top of the hill down to the rocky bottom and the water’s edge without scratches or bruises. Not surprisingly there were no other people in sight except for some fishing enthusiasts on one of the rock islands out in the ocean. I have more photos of this part of Japan and the critters that live here coming up.
On my last trip to Okinawa I visited the relatively new Chura-Sun beach (美らSUNビーチ) right to the south of Naha Airport and saw this group of wedding photographers doing their best to capture a young couple in the classic “groom getting blown away”. If you have ever been to a wedding in Okinawa, you know this pose! I was there in the winter and the beach was quite deserted, not least due to the cold winds. Even Okinawa gets chilly in the winter. I always thought of Okinawa as Japan’s own paradise. It is quite expensive to go there from the mainland but I am sure the locals are happy to keep it that way. I wouldn’t mind spending a few months there in spring or summer!
On a cape near the city of Hyuga in Miyazaki prefecture on the eastern edge of Kyushu you will find a peculiarly shaped geological formation. It is know as Kurusunoumi, from the Portuguese word for cross and the Japanese word for ocean (クルスの海). The coastline of Miyazaki is just as elsewhere in Kyushu quite stunning. Friends of history will remember that the first European contacts of Japan was with Portuguese traders, who also introduced guns, the secret of gunpowder and even christianity to the Japanese islands. So we have the seafaring skills of the portuguese to thank for our Japanese ninja, the original keepers of the secrets of gunpowder. Eventually the were banned from Japan for preaching too aggressively, but foreign trade kept on in the able hands of the Dutch and a smattering of English “factors”, mainly in the Kyushu area. I include a screen shot from Google Earth showing roughly the same cross from above. I wish I was a better nature photographer, alas I feel my skill lies more in the portraiture of people than in the photography of geology!